Health Watch

HB 154 welcomes Dental Hygienists into safety net facilities such as nursing homes in Georgia

COLUMBUS, Ga. -

Dental hygienists in Georgia will now have access to patients in nursing homes and other safety net facilities.

House Bill 154 now makes it possible for them to expand their circle of care to those who might not otherwise have it.

“So that our senior citizens and our patients in safety net settings can receive care without that person, let’s say and Alzheimer’s or dementia patient having to be transported to the dental office,” said Slade Pair, Columbus Technical College Dental Hygienist Instructor.

HB 154 includes hospitals, nursing homes, long-term care facilities, rural health clinics, hospice, shelters free clinics and Title 1 schools.

Here’s how it works. A dental hygienist in Georgia, who works for a dentist can go into these safety net facilities within 50 miles, and provide cleanings for patients. Under House Bill 154, they can also train the safety net staff to recognize oral health problems, but the licensed dental hygienist would  apply topical fluoride, perform the application of sealants, and oral prophylaxis under general supervision of a dentist. Recently Columbus Technical College hosted a symposium designed to educate the dental community and safety net staffers about House Bill 154.

Under HB 154, Medicare and Medicaid would be billed for services. There is no charge to the safety net facility or patient.

House Bill 154 has been in effect now since January 1st.


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